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Oct 07, 2016

EU migrant quotas are 'dead', says Slovak PM

PM Orbán said that he’ll propose a change to the Hungarian constitution that would be “EU compatible.” He also called for the dismantling of temporary border controls within the trading bloc

The European Union’s plan to impose mandatory quotas on its members to host refugees is “dead” following Hungary’s referendum, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, has said.

“Manadatory quotas are politically dead,” Fico said after meeting Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Bratislava. “We’ll do anything we can so that an alternative is born during our presidency.”

PM Orbán said that he’ll propose a change to the Hungarian constitution that would be “EU compatible.” He also called for the dismantling of temporary border controls within the trading bloc.

Prime Minister Fico, who won a third term in the March general elections on an anti-immigrant campaign, has been one of the most vocal leaders denouncing efforts led by Germany to force the EU’s 28 members to share the burden of hosting the more than 1 million refugees that have arrived in the bloc since last year, Bloomberg news reports today.

Joined by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who was bolstered by a referendum on the EU’s quota plan in his country on Sunday, Fico said he expected EU interior ministers to begin seeking a compromise solution on refugees at a scheduled gathering on October 13.

More than 98 percent of those who voted in Hungary’s migrant referendum rejected the quotas.

Hungary's 3.3 million "no" voters constituted one of the strongest mandates of any vote -- in a referendum or any popular election -- in Hungary since 1989. Rarely have so many Hungarian voters turned out to cast a ballot in support of one cause as they did in Sunday's referendum.